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R.E.M. BUCKS THE SYSTEM, NSYNC FOR NOTHING, MUSIC CHOICE LEAPS TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND, SHELTER FROM THE STORM
R.E.M. Guitarist's Case Dismissed, NSYNC Plays For Free, Cable Show Plays Superman, Gimme Shelter
GOING BUCK WILD
The air-rage trial of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was dropped after the judge discharged the jury. Buck denied in a London courtroom allegations of being drunk on an aircraft, common assault and damaging airline property last April (hitsdailydouble.com, 4/23). He was due to begin the second day of his trial. Prosecutor Edward Lewis described Buck as "paralytic" during the flight and "the transmogrification of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde" while assaulting British Airways cabin staff after downing 15 glasses of wine during a flight from London to Seattle. Lewis claimed the musician also overturned a hostess trolley after mistaking it for a CD player and spilled cereal, yogurt and crockery across the floor of the cabin. The prosecution will return to the court at a future date to say whether it wants a retrial of whether Buck was still being punished for poor sales of the band's last album, Reveal.


NSYNC OFFERS FREE BOOTY
Some 150,000 fans attended a Veteran's Day concert by NSYNC Sunday night in South Beach, FL. The show also included performances by Tito Puente Jr., Deborah Cox, MPress, Dante Thomas and Willa Ford. The sale of VIP tickets and concessions at the show would benefit families of Sept. 11 victims and local workers who recently lost their jobs, though the show was free to fans because band members said they wanted to help them have fun and heal after the tragedies. "If our music helps us forget about the sad times I think it makes the hard work we do worth it," said NSYNC member Justin Timberlake. "And there's no easier way to forget your troubles than to watch us sing and shake our booties without getting paid. Hey, it's almost like the good old days of working for Lou Pearlman."

BANDS GO PRO-CHOICE
Music Choice announced that Five For Fighting and Smash Mouth are the featured artists for its December concert series. Five For Fighting's concert at Hollywood's Knitting Factory last month, featuring the hit single "Superman (It's Not Easy)," will air between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, while Smash Mouth's show at the Fillmore in San Francisco last month will air between Dec. 17 and Dec. 30. A provider of commercial-free digital music via cable, satellite and the Internet, Music Choice is a cable-exclusive program which reaches 29 million households across the country. It also airs the reality-based show "Street Team," which follows a group of kids on the road with emerging and established artists such as Xzibit and John Mayer. The programs shows them learning to be the musician's bitches for the chance to sleep with the groupies and say, paraphrasing the great Pamela des Barres, "It's OK, I'm with the band."

OFFERING SHELTER
The 12th annual Gimme Shelter benefit will take place at L.A.'s Roxy on Dec. 5, featuring John Mayer, Starsailor, Joe Henry, John Doe Thing, Glen Phillips, Jon Brion and Charlotte Martin. All proceeds will benefit The H.E.L.P Group, one of California's leading, non-profit children's organizations serving young people. Their website can be found at www.thehelpgroup.org. Tickets are $20 and available through the theater box office.

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